FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women AdvaNCe contact: Kim-Marie Saccoccio, Executive Director
Phone: (919)986-9701 Email: Kim@WomenAdvanceNC.org
NORTH CAROLINA WOMEN ON THE GUEST LIST FOR THIS MONTH’S WHITE HOUSE SUMMIT ON WORKING FAMILIES IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Closing the Leadership Gap for NC Women[RALEIGH, NC] Wednesday, June 18, 2014 – More than twenty women from six different NC counties will be in attendance at the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23rd in Washington, D.C. Residents from Alamance, Durham, Guilford, Orange, Wake, and Robeson counties each received nominations to attend the Washington, D.C. Summit through Women AdvaNCe, a statewide women’s advocacy organization and steering committee partner for the nationwide Summit. The group will be providing feedback at the national summit about issues today’s working families are facing in North Carolina.
“The number of women in today’s U.S. workforce has grown to 47%, and many women serve as both their family’s breadwinner and primary caregiver,” said Mary Swann Parry, Director of Advocacy at Women AdvaNCe. “Today’s families need workplace flexibility with supports like paid sick and family leave, so that parents don’t have to choose between staying home with a sick child or going to work so that they can afford to buy groceries. It’s about economic stability.”
Lack of paid sick and family leave also hurts business, according to Durham’s Laura Helms Reece, CEO at Rho, Inc., who will be attending the June 23rd Summit with Women AdvaNCe. “It is not financially smart to lose people to bad policies,” said Reece. “It is more expensive to hire someone else than to offer current employees those sick days.”
Reece participated in a recent round table discussion, lead by Women AdvaNCe, in preparation of the D.C. Summit. Working women and business leaders gathered to discuss how NC businesses and policymakers can help close the leadership gap for women in North Carolina. Access to mentorship and skill-building were central to the discussion. “More women need to ask for promotions, but they need support and information to help them navigate that request,” said Ashley Noonan, General Manager at Beasley’s Chicken & Honey and at Chuck’s in Raleigh. “They need access to accurate data about pay scales and effective language to use when asking for a raise. And they need better access to leadership training to help them succeed at the management level.”
Becoming a business owner is another way to create flexible workplace policies, according to Kim Pevia, President of the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce, also attending the June 23rd Summit. “Women are embracing entrepreneurship,” said Pevia. “We can create our own jobs that work better for those of us who are having babies and raising children.”
Others nominated to attend the D.C. Summit along with Women AdvaNCe include Simone Hawks and Anthony Hamilton of Greensboro, Rachael Stimpson of Burlington, Deborah Locklear, Enid Begay and Amanda Locklear of Red Springs, and Valerie Evans of Raleigh. Other North Carolina groups attending the Summit include the NC Justice Center and Mom’s Rising. These groups will be live tweeting during the White House Summit on Working Families, hoping to create dialogue about the impact of these important issues across North Carolina.
About Women AdvaNCe
Women AdvaNCe is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to improve the lives of North Carolina’s women and families by providing education and encouraging constructive public dialogue about education, healthcare, and jobs.
Photo Attached (White House Summit’s NC Event: Round Table Discussion – Closing the Leadership Gap for NC Women, June 9, 2014) High Resolution Photo Available Upon Request
Pictured left to right: Mary Swann Parry (Director of Advocacy at Women AdvaNCe), Janet Ward Black (Attorney and Principal Owner at Ward Black Law), Dr. Rachel Seidman (Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill), Dr. Laura Reece (CEO at Rho, Inc.), Kim Pevia (President at Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce), Emma Norman (Instructional Designer/Trainer at NCDOT), Dr. Carla Fagan (Social Work Department Chair at Methodist University), Barbara Jesse Black (Executive Director at PTA Thrift Shop), Beth Briggs (Executive Director at Dress For Success Triangle), Emma Battle (Founder & CEO, IYSIS), and Kim-Marie Saccoccio (Executive Director at Women AdvaNCe). Not pictured: Ashley Noonan (General Manager at Beasley’s Chicken & Honey and Chuck’s – AC Restaurants).